BMS enters potential $1B ADC deal with German biotech

April 20, 2023

Bristol Myers Squibb has signed a license agreement with German biotech, Tubulis to develop differentiated antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for cancer.

Through the deal, BMS will gain exclusive rights to access Tubulis’ Tubutecan payloads in combination with Tubulis’ proprietary P5 conjugation platform for the development of a selected number of highly differentiated ADCs to treat solid tumors. P5 and Tubutecans facilitate the generation of ultra-stable ADCs.

BMS will handle antibody target selection and then Tubulis will provide the company with its linker-payload to generate a uniquely matched ADC for each antibody. BMS will then be responsible for development, manufacturing and commercialization of resulting ADC candidates.

The deal includes an upfront payment of $22.75 million to Tubulis in addition to the potential for over $1 billion in milestone payments plus royalty payments on resulting marketed products.

The deal, however, is not BMS' largest in the ADC field. Back in 2021, the drugmaker signed a potential $3.1 billion deal with Japan-based Eisai to jointly develop and market MORAb-202, Eisai’s first ADC for cancer. 

ADC deals in the oncology field are the norm as of late. BioNTech just inked a deal with China-based biotech DualityBio to co-develop and commercialize two cancer ADC candidates. A few weeks ago, Pfizer revealed a $43 billion deal to acquire the ADC technology pioneer, Seagen. The following day, Synaffix and MacroGenics announced that they had expanded their next-gen ADCs partnership. Last month, AstraZeneca signed a potential $1.1 billion deal with China-based KYM Biosciences for a potential first-in-class ADC targeting Claudin 18.2.